Friday, May 11, 2012

Touchdown Philippines

Garage and garden
As our plane reaches the Philippine airport I remember the day we left, thinking to myself it will be a long time before I see this airport again. Today is "10 years from now."

There seemed an excessive amount of security for the duty free shops. Who knew liquor was such a high risk commodity. We cleared customs and suddenly: people. Thousands of them. Every time someone brushed up to me I checked my pockets. Through the hordes of people, we managed to pick up our 6 bags of luggage, 3 of which were filled with gifts, toiletries, and canned goods for relatives. We finally stepped out of the airport doors and into the pickup area.

Welcome to the Philippines. I was greeted with the uncomfortably humid, barely tolerable heat. I felt like I was burning. I was burning.


Our ride arrived and we were off! Into traffic. Chaos. I would not be able to drive here. What road lines? Filipinos drive on both sides of the yellow line. They drive diagonally across white lines, the path of least resistance. Cars speak to each other with honking. What traffic light?

Eventually we got to my eldest aunt's place. Good, old, familiar. The memories came flooding in. A few minutes away from my elementary school, we spent a lot of afternoons after school here. I would play with their tortoises and my cousin's PlayStation. So much has changed. So much has stayed the same. From the little figurines to the layout of each room. What used to be a basketball court is now my uncle's man-cave. More on that in a later post. Then the inevitable: food. A nice variation from my mom's cooking.

We headed home. More traffic. An hour later we reach my childhood neighborhood. It's not what I remember. The houses are taller, railings higher, sharper, more secure. The streets are narrower than I remember. The whole place seems darker. 10 years can change a lot.

When we got home I picked up plenty of items as the memories raided my thoughts. Old homework, novels, toys. My old race car toolbox, with the 2 cars I built, a few miniature motors, and an assortment of replacement tires. Even the racetrack is still around. My old BMX bike is still in the outdoor storage.

After dinner I took a shower. The moment I step out of the shower I start sweating. We start to watch the telev... Sweat. Burning. Pass out.

Living Room
Bookcase
Tamiya toolbox
Figurines
1990s San Miguel bottle
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